Art

Bravo, Bravo! A Brooklyn Work of Art

…considering the fact that I was spontaneously drawn in a fairly insignificant bar in Brooklyn, I would say happier than I expected.

Text and photos by A.Schomburg - rschomburg@yahoo.com

We try to look closer at one particular Art piece in the following interview. As we could not get the actual Artist for this interview, we decided to ask the Art piece of interest itself. The object was made in a spontaneous act of celebrating somebody’s win on a famous TV show.

“Well I’ve often seen a cat without a grin,” thought Alice,

“but a grin without a cat! It’s the most curious thing I ever saw in all my life!”

– Lewis Carroll, Alice in Wonderland

D: Welcome, you are wearing some highly adequate fashion. When did you get this comme de garcon? It looks incredible on you.

AS: Well, thank you, it is worth a little fortune, but I sold some work and decided to treat myself.

D: Yes, I saw one of your pieces hanging right across from me, in the tearoom overlooking Park Avenue.

Tea/living room at Park Avenue Apartment, NYC Photo © A. Schomburg

AS: I remember this Apartment very well. I used to install some works for the owner. Luckily, I do not have to do such thankless jobs anymore.

To come to my first question: The representation of you in the virtual show at the Chelsea Art towers finally got you back into the spotlight. How do you feel?

D: Well, considering the fact that I was spontaneously drawn in a fairly insignificant bar in Brooklyn, I would say happier than I expected.

AS: I admit I was surprised, as well, to see you again. I thought the fact that the Artist who drew you, and his credibility (certainly the one of his signature), felt far past deflated.

D: Yes, very good point. Wasn’t it your friend, who recognized him as the freshly made winner of the reality show back then? The next great Artist.

Work of Art episode 3 Photo © http://sphotos-b.xx.fbcdn.net

AS: Yes, we were all in that bar in Brooklyn near Greenpoint that night. One of us, I cannot recall who, recognized him. That moment sparked attention among my friends and we invited him to be part of our conversation.Somebody asked him how he felt about his success and then some moments later you happened. I mean, in the face of absurdity he left this impression on a dollar note.

D: You say absurd, but I imagine him happy in that moment.

AS: He certainly seemed happy. He celebrated the appearance of this new background that was rolled out behind him. He felt so in charge of his life.

D: What did you ask him?

AS: First, of course, if anything changed after the TV show aired. Second, how much taxes were subtracted from his win and what his plans for the near future were.

D: … And his answer?

AS: He was so excited and said, first of all, his life was entirely different to the way it used to be. Second, everything changed after his appearance on TV and his career finally became reality.

I asked him to elaborate on what he meant by saying his life was a better one as compared to before. He smiled and said; “Well, I would say life turns in a bad direction when I feel I want to walk away from all this success and follow an urge to make watercolours on the countryside and turn my back on materialism.”

“Right now”, he said, his life was great, his work was finally getting attention, he moved to Brooklyn, into his new one bedroom apartment and got a sunny spacious studio. He was warmly welcomed into the local art community and could in no way complain. In this very moment, I remember my friend punching me sharply with her left elbow in my rips, a short biting pain followed. “Well, (my friend whispered) if this bubble bursts one day he’ll wish to be able to make watercolors on the countryside.”

“Brooklyn based Artist!”, I laughed big time. She went one… “I recently had a gallery from Philadelphia refusing to pick up my work from Brooklyn. As a matter of fact, they wrote me in an e-mail: ‘We do not pick up works from parts NYC other then Manhattan. I had to pack my drawings and take them with the subway to Chelsea myself, in order for the gallery to pick them up.” I asked her to stop taking her frustration out on me. Besides my ear was getting uncomfortably warm.

In the meantime the Artist was following a request of another friend of mine and signed a dollar bill with his name. He left a celebratory outline of the Brooklyn Bridge on the lower right corner and a sun flower.

“What irony”, she yelled in my right ear again. The Artist smiled and said, ”So nice to meet you guys. I truly love NYC.” This was our encounter and this is how the drawing came to be on the dollar bill.

Photo © A. Schomburg

D: What did your suspicious friend think of me?

AS: Well, she obviously could not stop expressing her concerns. She said, he was to be pitied; and that we had a responsibility to somehow make him aware of his actual reality. I told her to let him be, if he believed in this reality then he should be allowed to enjoy the moment. “No way!”, my friend protested, and asked me why she should respect this situation if she thought it was rubbish?

It was not a matter of respecting his belief, I told her, it was more a matter of respecting his right to hold this belief. The warmth around my right ear dissolved right then, as my friend gave in and showed intereste­d in the dollar note with the drawing that my other friend was holding in her hand.

D: “So, you strongly defended me that night?”

AS: I defended the moment, I guess. Later you crossed the Brooklyn Bridge anyways and ended up on Park Avenue as a birthday present to one of Sarah Jessica Parker’s friends.

D: How ironic, isn’t it?

AS: It is very amusing indeed. Thank you.

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